Repatriation of Ukrainian children is complicated by Russian “special procedure”

The “special procedure” introduced by Russia in mid-October for the entry of Ukrainian citizens into its territory, as well as Latvia’s decision to close the only land border crossing that Russia allowed Ukrainians to use, significantly complicates the return of Ukrainian children.

According to a statement from the Ukrainian Children’s Rights Network, which includes more than 25 charitable organizations, reported by the BBC, the restrictions have “serious consequences for the fragile process of repatriation of Ukrainian children who have been abducted and displaced by Russia.” Russian authorities require in most cases that mothers or other female relatives personally come from Ukraine to collect the children.

Due to the war, it is not possible to cross the border between Russia and Ukraine directly. Therefore, Ukrainian women usually travel via the land borders of third countries to retrieve their children. “Each of these repatriations is a complex story, involving border crossings, high risks, and complex secret logistics,” say human rights activists.

Image:, CC BY 4.0, Direct Line with Vladimir Putin (2021-06-30) 09.jpg, via Wikimedia Commons (Image size changed)

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